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Northcote Hemp Houses

project features

  • Two attached family homes with shared backyard
  • 8-star energy rating
  • Courtyard houses
  • Passive solar design
  • High on thermal mass and insulation
  • Rammed Earth walls
  • Hempcrete walls
  • Hemp walls with their beautiful texture
    Hemp walls with their beautiful texture
  • Entrance hall built in rammed earth and hemp
    Entrance hall built in rammed earth and hemp
  • Courtyards for play, light and ventilation
    Courtyards for play, light and ventilation
  • Rammed earth wall providing warmth and comfort
    Rammed earth wall providing warmth and comfort
  • Rumpus supervised from the kitchen
    Rumpus supervised from the kitchen
  • Children play spaces
    Children play spaces
  • Sitting in the baywindow
    Sitting in the baywindow
  • Ensuite with rammed earth wall
    Ensuite with rammed earth wall
  • Early sketch
    Early sketch
  • Large canopies providing shade
    Large canopies providing shade
  • Winter sun warms up the rammed earth wall
    Winter sun warms up the rammed earth wall
  • The houses finished with only the frontyard to do
    The houses finished with only the frontyard to do

Featured in Open House Melbourne, 2015.

We became aware of Hempcrete through an article of Kevin McCloud. This encouraged us to research and we were amazed about the suitability of hemp as a building material. 

It has always been my view and our experience that when building sustainably you need to look beyond the hard and cold facts and provide an environment that has other qualities in addition to being environmentally sensitive, using less resources and energy. In other words, if it is not beautiful, functional and affordable, people won’t do it.

The term ’environment’ also includes qualities like aesthetics, acoustics and air quality among other things. Hemp seemed to tick a few boxes. In addition to its environmental credentials we liked that it can breathe and regulate the humidity inside which from experience contributes to the comfort within a building. It has a porous surface which absorbs sound and contributes to a pleasant acoustics within a room.

This project, a dual occupancy home for three generations that share the backyard was built in a combination of rammed earth, timber and Hempcrete walls. It created a very beautiful and healthy environment; putting it together involved courage and adventure which for all involved ended up being a very rewarding experience.

media

Better Homes and Gardens TV Show, 14 March 2014
A hemp and a rammed earth home, Sanctuary magazine, 2012
Australian hemp house receives 8 star rating, www.inhabitat.com, 2014
Housing on a new green high, The Age, 2012
Check out Hemp House, Northcote Leader, 2012
This is the house that hemp built, The Weekly Review, 2015